Jackett’s men face Crawley and Oxford in Checkatrade Defence

POMPEY have been drawn with Crawley Town and Oxford United in their defence of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Portsmouth’s highlight of last season saw them triumph over Sunderland in front of a full house at Wembley in March. The game ended 2-2 after extra-time before Kenny Jackett’s side won the penalty shoot-out 5-4 to lift the trophy.

Along with Crawley and Oxford, the third side they will face in the EFL group stages will be an invited Under-21 side. The Under-21 draw will take place live on talkSPORT at 12.30pm on Friday.

Jackett, meanwhile, remains hopeful that he could still have Jamal Lowe in his ranks for the new campaign, despite last season’s top scorer’s admitting he was keen to test himself at a higher level.

Speaking as his side prepared for Wednesday night’s first pre-season clash against Dublin side UCD in the Irish capital, Jackett said: “I would like to keep Jamal.

“As usual with Portsmouth, there’s a high level of speculation when not much has happened behind the scenes.

“Jamal is not someone I want to lose and bids have been turned down so far. What will happen now, we’ll see, but it will be great to keep him.”

Millwall, West Brom, Leeds and Wigan are among those clubs chasing the 24-year-old’s signature.

While reiterating his wish for Lowe to stay, Jackett admitted the decision may be taken out of his hands.

Jackett added: “You want to keep your best players, although that isn’t always possible. Players do move on, that’s my point, but I would like to keep Jamal - 100 per cent.”

• The kick-off for Pompey’s League One match against Rotherham at Fratton Park on Saturday, August 24 has been brought forward to 12.30pm. The move is because the Victorious Festival is taking place in the city on the same day.

Meanwhile, junior tickets are available for just £1 for next month’s midweek game against Coventry City. Adult and senior (65+) supporters can purchase up to two junior (17 and under) tickets in the same transaction for just £1 each for the 7.45pm kick-off on August 20